“By Kajlea Richards”
Lowell Jaeger, a Montana poet and professor of journalism and creative writing at Flathead Valley Community College will be delivering the 2019 Common Read Keynote Address at First Presbyterian Church, on October 3.
Jaeger has been part of the FVCC faculty since 1984 and has worked diligently to create opportunities for his students, his community, and writers across Montana and the Western United States. He is the founder of FVCC’s Many Voices Press, which has funded the publication of six books, all of which contain poetry from authors across Montana and the Western United States.
Jaeger also works with AmeriCorp and VISTA volunteers to lead discussions and has even spent time serving on the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau.
From 2017-2019 Jaeger has held the title of Montana Poet Laureate, an honorary and unpaid position, which was signed into law by Gov. Brian Schweitzer on March 24, 2005. The laureates serve a two-year term and serve to recognize and honor poets of exceptional talent and accomplishment, as well as encourage appreciation of poetry and literary life in Montana.
“I enjoy bringing poetry to students of all ages and backgrounds,” said Jaeger. “Everyone likes to laugh, and poetry can help us do that. Poetry can also nudge us toward meaningful discussion concerning important personal and social topics.”
Jaeger’s book of poems, titled “Earth-blood & Star-shine,” was picked as the 2019 common read, and accomplishes all of the tasks that Jaeger outlined above. The laughter, meaningful conversation, and attention to important personal and social topics that this book of poems accomplishes will be at the forefront of Jaeger’s address.
“Everyone can sing, everyone can dance, everyone can paint, and everyone can write poems,” said Jaeger. “Poetry, like any art, is a mode of human expression.”
It is this attitude toward poetry and the arts that has helped Jaeger succeed in many aspects of his life. It is his passion for the written word that helped him in becoming the state of Montana’s seventh Poet Laureate, and in many ways has even allowed him to bring deeper knowledge, as well as appreciation, for poetry to Montanans.
“Lowell is an exceptional asset to our college, our students, our community and Montana’s poet society,” said FVCC President Jane Karas. “His creativity and entrepreneurial spirit have resulted in many Native American poets and poets in the rural communities of the West achieving their goals and dreams of becoming published authors.”
If you are interested in seeing Jaeger’s Keynote address, you can attend it on October 3, 2019, at the First Presbyterian Church from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm.